Chem-Energy to bring two new facilities, 400 full-time jobs to Caldwell County
A leading petroleum products company has selected Caldwell County to invest $1 billion with the development of two new facilities and 400 full-time jobs, the Greater San Marcos Partnership announced Wednesday.
Chem-Energy will develop two innovative solar and battery power plant facilities in Caldwell County. The first is set to begin construction on 3,518 acres in Caldwell Valley Ranch near Uhland in Spring 2022 and become operational by the following year. The second facility will be located in the Martindale ETJ, GSMP said, adding that construction is expected to begin after the completion of the first location. Additional facilities are planned across Central Texas, GSMP said.
“Caldwell County is the perfect strategic choice for our flagship operations in Texas,” Chem-Energy Corporation COO Robert Hayward said. “With available land in a growing region, close proximity to Texas State University and a robust workforce pipeline, the Texas Innovation Corridor provides an ideal environment for our organization’s growth.”
GSMP described Wednesday’s announcement as “the largest economic development win (by capital investment) in the history of the Texas Innovation Corridor.”
Chem-Energy’s facilities will bring 400 full-time jobs in the first year and is expected to provide an average wage that will meet or exceed $53,200 a year and benefits. Additionally, the Martindale facility will be home to the country's first standardized solar PV and battery storage training facility that will provide certifications for Chem-Energy team members in collaboration with Austin Community College — Hays Campus, GSMP said. Hiring is expected to begin in January 2022 and the training facility is expected to open in late spring 2022.
GSMP said trainees should anticipate three months in a classroom followed by lab and hands-on training for an additional 30 days afterward. The regional economic development organization helped facilitate the partnership between Chem-Energy and ACC to create the training program at the Hays Campus. The program is expected to train the first class of 75-100 technicians. GSMP said the petroleum products company is focused on recruiting locally for their positions, including targeting veterans and other underserved groups.
“This is a prime example of how strategic partnerships result in unprecedented economic development opportunities for the residents of Hays and Caldwell Counties,” GSMP President Jason Giulietti said. “Between the high-paying jobs, the incoming workforce training facilities and our region becoming a future resource to the statewide power grid, this will unquestionably raise the quality of life for residents throughout the Texas Innovation Corridor.”
Key partners for Chem-Energy’s facilities include “Mortenson Construction as the engineer and builder of the solar facilities; KORE Power as the provider of the high energy density NMC batteries for power storage; Invenergy Services as the provider of back office administrative, energy asset/management and operations and maintenance support; and Soundgrid Partners as the provider of project management, technical advice, and support,” GSMP said.
GSMP said the Caldwell Valley Ranch solar power and battery pack facilities will feature a combined total of 600MW/1200MWh megawatts in battery storage and 1GW total of solar power generation over 10 years. Additionally, GSMP said the facility will primarily serve ERCOT and the Texas power grid. The facility will also offer clean energy to regional power providers such as Bluebonnet Electric and the Lower Colorado River Authority.
“As a leader in the high-growth energy storage market, KORE Power is thrilled to partner with Chem-Energy to provide Texas with long-term, reliable energy resources that will strengthen the Texas Interconnection electric grid system,” said Lindsay Gorrill, CEO of KORE Power.
Chem-Energy entered into a performance-based Chapter 381 agreement with Caldwell County on Nov. 5, which will provide the county with a projected $22.4 million in added total net tax revenue over the next 10 years.
“We welcome the largest economic development win in the Texas Innovation Corridor to Caldwell County,” said Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden. “This is a seismic development for our region which will establish several new opportunities in our community. We anticipate that Chem-Energy will be a long-term community partner to Caldwell County.”